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Slow Computer? Here is How You Can Speed It Up

Updated on March 20, 2013

Speed up your slow computer

Is your computer slow?
Is your computer slow?

5 simple PC speed up tips

Are you stuck with a slow computer that takes ages to boot and makes simple things like opening documents and browsing the Web a real chore? There are two ways to solve the problem: you can either get a new computer or do some cleanup and maintenance to optimize your PC for best performance. Here are some tips that will help you speed up computer performance without spending a dime.

1. Run disk cleanup

Computers are a bit like libraries. Over time they accumulate outdated stuff, dust and irrelevant entries. The more junk there is, the slower your computer becomes. Cleaning out PC junk will free up your hard drive space and make everything run faster.

The first thing you should do is run disk cleanup to remove temporary system files, browser cache and other debris. To do that, click on Start - Programs - Accessories - System Tools and launch the Disk Cleanup tool. Select the drive you want to clean, let the program analyze it and then delete everything the program finds.

Also don't forget to delete duplicate files - they can be taking up gigabytes of your disk space.

2. Run a registry cleaner

When you are done with disk cleanup, it's a good idea to clean the registry, the main Windows database. A cluttered registry that is full of obsolete entries and references can reduce your computer speed and performance. Windows doesn't have a built-in registry cleaner, but there are several good free ones that you can download. The best free registry cleaners are CCleaner and Auslogics Registry Cleaner.

3. Optimize Windows startup

If your computer is slow on startup, you might have too many programs loading on Windows boot. Some of them are essential, but a lot of them can and should be disabled. To check your list of startup items, click on Start - Run - type msconfig and go to the Startup tab. Review the list and uncheck things like MSN Messenger, Skype, iTunes, etc. Be careful to not disable essential Windows components.

4. Uninstall unused software

The more programs you have on your computer, the less disk space there is. To speed things up and free up disk space, check whether there are programs that you never use and uninstall them. You can do that via the Control Panel or use an uninstall manager.

5. Defrag your hard drive

And last but not least, defrag your hard drive. Unless you have an SSD, defragmentation is the most useful speed and performance-boosting action. When you run disk defrag, fragments of files that are scattered around the hard drive are assembled together. As a result, you will be able to launch programs faster and opening files will take less time than before. Windows has a built-in disk defragmenter that can be found under Programs - Accessories, but it's better to use a more advanced third-party utility.

There is a lot more you can do to make your computer faster, like optimize Windows services and Internet connection, tweak numerous settings, delete duplicate files and more. However, it's not possible to perform all types of computer optimization manually. That's why it's always best to get an all-in-one PC optimizer like Auslogics BoostSpeed or System Mechanic to keep your computer running as fast as it can.

© 2011 Snurre


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    • profile image

      jcboykin 4 years ago

      FinallyFast cleaned my PC up in seconds. It works great and my computer does not freeze up anymore!!

    • Snurre profile image

      Snurre 5 years ago

      chefmancave, thank you for your comment. I agree with you that people shouldn't rely on optimizers too much and should look for bottlenecks. However, I do use system optimizers (the ones I got for free) because some of the tools they have let you fix some problems quickly and access some settings. But definitely not as a "click-a-button-to-get-a-new-PC" thing.

    • chefmancave profile image

      Robert Loescher 5 years ago from Michigan

      Snure...I don't want to rain on everyone's parade but I stopped using System Optimizers about two years ago. Here is why:

      1) When Windows 7 came out it reduced it's reliance on the Registry. Most of the System Optimizers rely on reghacks to "correct" issues.

      2) Windows 7 contains many self-healing features meaning that any changes made by System Optimizers will be reset by Windows.

      3) Too many users are using System Optimizers as a crutch. They want a FREE piece of software to fix all their woes.

      4) Most System Optimizers display "X number problems" and lets the user "fix" the problems. What did the program actually do?

      My Suggestion for people is "find the bottleneck"! One of the main elements of your PC is being overused. Use a utility like Prism HUD to monitor System activity and find out which resource is being over-taxed. I have customers call me almost daily and use the 4-letter "S" word - SLOW.

      Just last week I increased the speed of a PC by 200% just by turning off Adaptive Load Balancing on their network card. I discovered the issue when I saw the Network resource being over used.

    • EinderDarkwolf profile image

      Sean Bradbury 5 years ago from Tempe, A.Z.

      Not a bad guide for a Windows User to follow. Though I also recommend a daily virus/spyware/malware/adaware scan as well.

    • Snurre profile image

      Snurre 6 years ago

      gjfalcone, thanks! Glad this hub helped you speed up your PC.

    • gjfalcone profile image

      gjfalcone 6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      Excellent tips, Defraged recently and made quite a difference.

      Voted ^ & useful &


    • plinka profile image

      plinka 6 years ago from Budapest, Hungary

      Hi Snurre, you know my computer was very slow because of some suspicious files. I tried Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, Wise Registry Cleaner and Spybot, but they didn't work. I decided to install some new softwares: HiJackThis and the latest version of Ad-Aware. The latest one it's quite good. Right now I'm scanning my computer. I also restored and I disabled the password pop-up window, because it's annoying. I've changed my gmail password as well. Now my computer is o.k., but I still have a lot to do, for example defragmentation. I can't tell you how much I hate dealing with such things, but I must do them.

    • Snurre profile image

      Snurre 6 years ago

      Cerarmartins, let me know how you like it!

    • cesarmartins profile image

      César Martins 6 years ago

      Howdy, Snurre!

      I finished downloading it right now, I'll install it on my Windows as soon as I go there. Looks pretty damn amazing in the description!

      I surely will let you know what I thought about it. Thanks in advance for the tip.

      Best wishes!


    • Snurre profile image

      Snurre 6 years ago

      Cesarmartins, thanks for your comment! I'm very glad you liked this hub. And thanks for software recommendations. Unfortunately, I had problems with Advanced System Care in the past when it deleted something it shouldn't have. But it's definitely a pretty good suite, especially since it's free. Just have to remember to always back up before using it.

      Have you tried the free Auslogics BoostSpeed Special Edition? I quite like that software.

    • cesarmartins profile image

      César Martins 6 years ago

      Great article, Snurre!


      I'll share another tip, the Advanced System Care does all these tasks, and a lot more! It can tweak all settings of the installed browsers, download missing updates for Windows, fix Windows defective functions, control the RAM usage, and even more. It's actually better than Comodo System Cleaner, but I do recommend using their Internet Security, and the other products.

      Voted up/useful/amazing & interesting!

      Best wishes.


    • profile image

      zhongjie 6 years ago

      Agreed!They really are great and effective ways to speed up PC.Recently l have been using a excellent PC optimizer software to make my slow PC fast,called Fastwindowstweaker,a great helper for me and l would like to share with everyone.

      Here to download:

    • Snurre profile image

      Snurre 6 years ago

      @Brett.Tesol Thanks for reminding about Comodo. Their products are quite good.

    • jennifertaylor91 profile image

      jennifertaylor91 6 years ago from USA

      Run disk cleanup at every week is a good habit to make your pc faster.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 6 years ago from Thailand

      Voted up and useful :-)

      Very good information for Windows users. Another product (range of products) that is free and great for cleaning you computer is 'Comodo System Cleaner' from - They offer lots of good free stuff to personal users and make their money from big businesses.

      Thanks for sharing